If We Were Romantics

If we were Romantics, and possibly some of us are Romantics, we might imagine that there is in our minds, one or two beats before a thought forms itself into anything like mental speech, into phrase or sentence, into an order of communication, something earlier, rougher, more gripped, more frail, more saturated, something that will dry away like the dew or crumble like prehistoric paint as soon as it’s exposed to air, something that—compared to a sentence—is still wild.

Anne Carson

Book Based

Two years ago (two years? heck!) I was invited to speak at a literary festival in the tiny French town of Parisot, Festilitt, and last year I missed them terribly; I accepted the task of creating an illustration based on one of the books being spoken about that year, and this year I'm creating two (I feel this is an increasingly slippery slope). One of them is for Claire Fuller's new book 'Swimming Lessons' (her previous novel 'Our Endless Numbered Days' was spectacular), and the other is for the busy-sounding Adam Thorpe, and his book 'Missing Fay'. Both of these people have won awards for their writing/loveliness, so I was honoured to be asked to make these designs.

The illustrations get printed onto small notecards, which are sold at the festival, and the original artwork gets sent off to Parisot, where it joins others in an exhibition.

Below is the beginning of the illustration based on 'Missing Fay', which I must hurry up and complete, because I'm meant to have them both to their destination by June 30th—yikes!

Flash Fiction V

Sitting on the platform, waiting. Train pulling up on the opposite side, I see a man drinking straight from a plastic milk bottle. Woman using a pen instead of the fingers on her right hand to push the keys of her laptop, people pretending to be absorbed in their phones, their papers, their books. 

I read and read and read until the words swim like fish in a haze of black and white water.

The hours of tomorrow that will be spent in the sky; the boredom, the fear, the angst. The wondering at what the hell you were thinking going on this trip, because it was unnecessary and he wasn’t actually serious about any of it, maybe. Falling between clouds of panic, you will be rained upon for just under a week and you wonder how can you possibly stay dry.

Could you run, could you sit. Can you honestly say that you weren’t expecting anything?

Something Resembling Sun

I've become besotted with a park here that I always knew existed but had never frequented, and it's joined the list of 'places to escape to'; it's quiet and away from the centre and during the week seems to often contain only a handful of other humans. Green spaces such as this one are so kind to those who simply want to lie on the grass with a book and temporarily forget what it means to exist. 

Meanwhile these oil-on-paper paintings by Kirsten Beets capture some of the feeling that people around here have been swimming in lately (we've had some sun).